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Moisture and Wood Floors

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Environmental factors can affect wood floors more than any other kind of flooring. Carpet can do some strange things in the heat and damp, but not to the extent that wood floors do. There are a few types of environmental factors; their prevalence will change with different locals. Needless to say a place like Fredericksburg, VA will have different issues than a home in Miami Florida will.

Humidity and temperature are important things to regulate for wood floors. Even though the wood has been cut it still reacts to the environment around it, if it’s too dry the wood will shrink. Observant people may notice that in the winter the boards of the floor shrink and the gaps between them grow larger. During the summer when it’s damper they tend to grow out more. In a place like Miami the difference won’t be as noticeable as it will be much further north in Fredericksburg, VA where the change can be dramatic.

During the winter you might want to consider a humidifier to keep the moisture up in the areas you have wood floors; this can help reduce the shrinkage during the dry months. The other thing to avoid is certain types of heaters. A wood stove or an electric heater will throw off a lot of direct dry heat that can cause the boards to shrink and dry out. Avoid these in areas of your house with wood floors.

During the summer when the ambient humidity is higher you might want to invest in a dehumidifier or an air conditioner. For those not aware, air conditioners function as dehumidifiers as well as cooling units. Dehumidifiers sometimes throw off heat which can be unpleasant during the summer. Too much humidity and the wood can swell and push against each other causing potential warping and damage.

The goal is to maintain a constant humidity in the range of 35-55% range year round, this will keep the boards at an optimal level of moisture and prevent shrink and swell problems. Wood floors are a big investment and it’d be terrible to have them start taking damage due to something like humidity, especially if you’re careful to protect them from other causes of damage. The one final note on moisture is to make sure that you’re not tracking water in from outside. Standing pools of water or mud on the floor can cause problems as the wood will absorb some of the moisture and potentially warp. Make sure to have a good welcome mat at the front door and to not walk around with soaking wet or muddy shoes and pants.

Wood floors Fredericksburg VA – Environmental factors in Fredericksburg, VA area can affect wood floors. JK Carpets will assist you in how to maintain your wood floors and keep it looking good.


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  • Posted On August 16, 2012
  • Published articles 10

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